Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to the Amos Gitai Film Collection, comprising 22 films by the award-winning bold Israeli director of Cannes’ Palme d’Or contenders “Kippur,” BAFTA-winning “Kadosh,” and “Free Zone” with Natalie Portman. Gitai’s latest film, “Laila in Haifa” (pictured), which featured Israeli and Palestinian actors, world premiered at Venice in 2020.
The collection also includes “Alila” (2003), “Ana Arabia” (2013), “The Arena of Murder” (1996), “Berlin Jerusalem” (1989), “Carmel” (2009), “Disengagement” (2007), “Devarim” (1995), “Eden” (2001), “Esther” (1986), “Golem Spirit of Exile” (1992), “Kedma” (2000), “Lullaby to My Father” (2012), “Petrified Garden” (1993), “Promised Land” (2004), “Roses à crédit” (2010), “Tsili” (2014), and “Yom Yom” (1998).
These films join two of Gitai’s other works distributed by Kino Lorber, including “Rabin: The Last Day,” which played at Venice in 2015, and his thought-provoking documentary “West of the Jordan River” which opened at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2017.
Gitai has worked with a flurry international stars besides Portman, notably Rosamund Pike (“Promised Land”), Juliette Binoche (“Disengagement”), Jeanne Moreau (“One Day You’ll Understand,” “Disengagement”) and Léa Seydoux (“Roses à crédit”).
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A retrospective of Gitai’s work was held in 2005 at New York’s Lincoln Center, and in March 2020, MoMA hosted “In Times Like These”, a four-film tribute including “Carmel,” Kedma,” and a new digital restoration of “Esther.”
“I have been working with Kino Lorber for over twenty years, and I am very touched and delighted by the news that they have decided to release this collection of my films in North America,” said Gitai.
“I am sure that the meticulous and caring attitude that has characterized my relationship with Kino Lorber will definitely enhance the presence of these works in North America. After all, since I was trained as an architect, I always sign my films: architect and film builder. So let’s build a solid bridge to our future work together,” said Gitai.
Richard Lorber, the president and CEO of Kino Lorber, who negotiated the deal with Hanway Films’ chairman Jeremy Thomas, said he was “honored to now be the stewards of Amos Gitai’s distinguished library.”
“There is no filmmaker working today whose oeuvre has so incisively bridged the personal and the political. His cinematic engagements probe human emotions heightened by traumatic contexts, where intimate personal dramas become emblematic of struggles for national identity,” said Lorber.
The well-established distributor described Gitai as a “cinema psychologist of geo-political turmoil,” as well as a “unique and essential auteur.”
“We could not be more proud to re-introduce his output in luminously restored versions for new acquaintance or rediscovery by North American audiences,” added Lorber.
Lorber will make the Amos Gitai Film Collection available to arthouses and Jewish film festivals immediately. The collection will also be released with new masters on DVD and Blu-ray, on Kino Lorber’s Kino Now TVOD platform plus other major TVOD and subscription services.
Gitai will be directing “Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination,” a stage play inspired by his film “Rabin: The Last Day,” at the Chatelet Theater in Paris, starting June 28.